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We have been foster parents since 11/1994, and a Group Foster Home since 5/2002. My wonderful husband and I have 2 birth children (ages 20 & 8), 6 adopted children (ages 13, 12, 11, 11, 9 & 8), and 1 current foster daughter (age 18). Over the past 12 years we've fostered 43 children, not including those who have been with us more than once, or respite placements. Our family was named "Foster Family of the Year" in September, 2002 for our Region (19 counties in and around Dallas/Fort Worth).
I am a foster/adopt PRIDE trainer (for potential new foster & adoptive parents), I train foster & adoptive parents in topics such as Community Resources for Children, PMAB (Principles & Management of Aggressive Behavior), Free & Inexpensive Family Activities, Adoption Subsidy Negotiation, and others. I am currently moderator of a foster/adoptive parents' email support group, and former Secretary of the Tarrant County Foster Parent Association. I have been a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years, and a soccer coach on and off for the past 4 years.
In meeting the special needs of my former and current children (both foster & adopted), I have found that therapists who have direct experience in dealing with the needs of foster and adopted children are few and far between. I feel with my unique experiences as a foster and adoptive parent, together with the hours and hours of training (substiantially more than the 20 hours currently required by the State of Texas), I am going back to college to continue to help foster and adoptive children and their families as a mental health professional.
I am currently enrolled at Tarrant County College in the Mental Health - Clinical and Psychological Counseling Program. My current GPA is 3.6. I am searching for financial assistance to help me through college, together with information and assistance in locating and transferring to a four-year college once I earn my Associate's Degree at TCC. I have applied and will be receiving a Pell Grant. I have also applied to several scholarship programs through the college, but competition is fierce and thus far I have received nothing.
Additionally, I am trying to raise enough funds to maintain a vehicle for my 18yr old foster daughter. She will be attending a Christian college in the fall, so all money will go toward her college expenses. Her busy schedule prevents her from finding a job, so I put aside about $240 per month (almost 1/2 of the foster care reimbursement I receive for her). Unfortunately, the funds she will receive to help pay for school doesn't come close to the tuition, room and board, and expenses (books, etc.) needed for this college, so it's up to us or no one.
I am also available to answer questions and provide whatever assistance I can offer in connection with fostering and adopting in Texas (I'm in the Arlington Region).